Jishnu's family calls off stir: Resolve of mother, daughter bring govt to its knees
- Jishnu’s mother Mahija and sister Avishna decided to call off their indefinite hunger stir on day five after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called the former.
- Mahija and her family members thanked people of Kerala and media for the tremendous support for their struggle for justice.
After keeping the Pinarayi Vijayan government under pressure for five days, the resolute stir by the family members of Jishnu Pranoy, hailing from Valayam, a CPM stronghold in Nadapuram in Kozhikde, called off their struggle on Sunday evening.
Jishnu’s mother Mahija and sister Avishna decided to call off their indefinite hunger stir on day five after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called the former and assured that all the accused in the case related to the unnatural death of her son would be arrested and justice be done.
Mahija and her family members thanked people of Kerala and media for the tremendous support for their struggle for justice. “The government gave us in writing to arrest all the culprits in the case,” said Sreejith, uncle of the deceased B.Tech student.
Related:No one beat or dragged Jishnu's mother; Police acted well within LDF policy: CPM
As the Special Public Prosecutor AP Udayabhanu, State Attorney KV Sohan held discussions with the family members at Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram late on Sunday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rang up Mahija and assured her that the government was ready to take action against police officers who allegedly manhandled them in front of the DGP’s office last week.
The indefinite fast by the mother and her daughter, a class-10 student, had won wide public support and political leaders, cutting across party lines, visited her to express solidarity. Though CPM leaders did not publicly air their support, leaders like Politburo member MA Baby had dared to question the police over the issue.
Even though Chief Minister refused to talk to Mahija at first and some of his ministers even ridiculed the protest, the woman and her daughter did not budge. Their resolve and the unrelenting demand for justice have finally brought the government to its knees.
The arrest of Shaktivel, the third accused in t he Jishnu death case, was crucial towards the resolution of the stir. Saktivel was picked up by the police from a farm house in Coimbatore, on Sunday afternoon. There are unconfirmed reports that Praveen, the fourth accused in the case have also landed in police net.
“The arrest of Saktivel is a welcome step. We are happy that the police finally nabbed him,” said Sreejith in the afternoon. The statement was a sign that the family the discussions were in the right direction.
Police removes Mahija from near DGP office, Thiruvananthapuram last week
The negotiations towards the resolution of the indefinite fast by Mahija, Avishna, and other family members, gained momentum on Sunday afternoon after CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran visited the family at Medical College Thiruvananthapuram. Rajendran also talked to CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan from the hospital.
Shortly after that, Sitaram Yechury, CPM general secretary, talked to the family and assured them all support. The state government would take necessary steps to find a solution to their grievances, he had stated.
AP Udayabhanu, Special Public Prosecutor in the Jishnu case, started discussions with the bereaved family soon after.
Related: Jishnu's family unrelenting; trouble mounting for Pinarayi Vijayan govt.
Even though the stir ended on a happy note, the political controversies surrounding it will remain live for the days to come. “Was the arrest of Sakthivel a drama scripted at AKG Centre (CPM state headquarters),” wondered BJP state president Kummanam Rajashekharan. CPM have already started campaign alleging that the Congress and BJP were trying to earn political benefits from the family’s protest.
Family of Jishnu Pranoy started protesting against the laxity of police as the accused in the case remained at large, even after a lapse of three months since the B.Tech student was found hanging in mysterious circumstances in his hostel room. The immediate provocation for the idefinite fast was the police action on 5 April when the family arrived at DGP office. The police allegedly hit and dragged Mahija and other family members in the mêlée.
Mahija and family members, including Avishna, the young sister of Jishnu, started indefinite fast demanding justice. Dozens of women of Valayam village, a CPM party village of Nadapuram also joined in, signaling trouble for the CPM leadership.
Related: Why this teen girl's hunger stir is worrying the govt. most
Jishnu was found hanging in the toilet of his hostel room early in January this year. The death whipped up an outrage in the student community across the state. The police alleged that Jishnu was taken to the board room of Nehru Engineering College and was tortured on the day he was found hanging. The blood group of the blood stains found in the ‘torture room,’ matched with that of Jishnu’s, giving more credence to the allegations that the student was subjected to physical torture.